Oh how I wish more modern indie rock bands drew influence from Quasi. I mean, come on you guys, Sam Coomes and Janet Weiss’ blend of noised-out sonic fuckery with pop classicism is a territory that gets examined too infrequently these days. The band’s label-mate Deerhoof and Women (RIP) are two artists whose work mines similar territory, but other than a handful of aesthetic similarities, all three groups have distinctive musical languages. Quasi’s particular voice has been pretty well established since their debut record and has remained singular ever since. As a result, Quasi have managed to fully explore/subvert every angle of their particular brand of noise pop throughout their career, and their latest album Mole City might be their most expansive and complete statement yet.
Mole City is a sloppy and sprawling 24-song record that plays with multiple facets of the duo’s sound. Quasi are true songwriting craftspeople, so nearly every tune is a structurally perfect pop gem that then gets subjected to their lo-fi experimentation. Just about any track from the record could’ve been their lead single, but the two that were chosen (“You Can Stay But You Gotta Go” and “See You On Mars”) are some of the most immediate tunes the duo has ever written. “You Can Stay But You Gotta Go” is a riff-heavy blast of gloriously disgusting gated-fuzz pop, and it’s great. But I just can’t get enough of “See You On Mars,” which recalls the keyboard-heavy work of Featuring Birds. “See You On Mars” has some of the silliest lyrics of any Quasi song, but they are still laced with Coomes’ trademark flippancy, and when coupled with the song’s hook-laden, suite-like structure, they make for a particularly memorable Quasi tune. So, put down your Haim records , listen to Mole City, and submit yourself to Quasi’s gloriously fucked-up pop.
Mole City is available now via Kill Rock Stars. You can watch the video for “See You On Mars” above.